Sanctions fuel the fire. Letter to president Biden

Artists, intellectuals, politicians, scientists, activists and religious criticized the US president, Joe Biden, that "despite the words of condolence and the offer of technical advice, the United States Government has done very little to help the people of Cuba in his time of greatest need.

The criticism is contained in a letter sent to the US President regarding the fire at the Matanzas supertanker base, backed up to now by some thirty personalities, and which is accompanied by the "urgent" call to Biden to reject "the cruel policies » implemented by the White House during the Donald Trump era.

“Unfortunately, the US sanctions fuel the fires that rage in Cuba!, considered the signatories of the letter, after pointing out that the resources that the Cuban Government will be forced to dedicate to the response to the disaster will have an impact on the well-being of the Cubans, in the midst of sanctions.

"Trump's 243 sanctions continue to prevent urgently needed aid from arriving in Cuba," the letter also denounced, calling for the lifting of all sanctions that prevent Cuba from receiving, directly or indirectly, medical, humanitarian and environmental aid, or financial and other assistance from other nations or organizations in the United States.

That, he reminds him, includes removing Cuba from the lying list of State Sponsors of Terrorism. The signatories also urge immediate coordination with relevant US agencies to provide the direct and urgent assistance they say Cuba needs.

Source: Juventud Rebelde

Text of the letter: 

Dear President Joe Biden,
August 9, 2022

Now more than ever, it’s time to write a new page in U.S.-Cuban relations. We are making an urgent, public appeal to you to reject the cruel policies put into place by the Trump White House that have already created so much suffering among the Cuban people.

On Friday, August 5th, a major oil storage facility in Matanzas, Cuba, 65 miles east of Havana, was hit by lightning. Since then, an enormous fire has been raging. This tremendous explosion and hard-to-control fire have left several people missing (including firefighters), many injured with severe burns, and hundreds evacuated from their homes.

This fire, the largest in Cuban history, comes when Cuba is undergoing an energy crisis due to soaring global fuel costs and aging infrastructure. This oil tank fire will undoubtedly only further exacerbate the electricity outages that Cubans suffer during this hot summer. The resources that the government will be forced to put into disaster response will also have a negative impact on the general well-being of Cubans amid sanctions imposed by the Trump administration and continued under your administration.

Despite the words of condolence and the offer of technical advice, the U.S. government has done very little to aid the people of Cuba in their greatest moment of need. Unfortunately, U.S. sanctions fuel the fires that rage in Cuba! Despite assurances by the U.S. Embassy in Havana that the law authorizes U.S. entities and organizations to provide disaster relief and response, Trump’s 243 sanctions continue to prevent urgently needed aid from arriving in Cuba.

When your neighbor’s house is on fire, the normal human reaction is to rush next door to help. To save lives. To extinguish the flames. Cuba is our neighbor.! It is unconscionable, especially during a tragic accident, to block remittances and Cuba’s use of global financial institutions, given that access to dollars is necessary to import food and medicine.

Time is of the essence. The administration should lift all sanctions that prevent Cuba, directly or indirectly,  from receiving essential medical, humanitarian, and environmental relief or receiving financial and other assistance from other nations or organizations in the U.S. This includes removing Cuba from the State Sponsors of Terrorism List. We also urge you to coordinate immediately with relevant U.S. agencies to provide the direct and urgent assistance that Cuba requests.

Sincerely,

Brian Becker
Black Youth Project 100
Cindy Weisner
Claudia De la Cruz
Cornel West
David Adler
David Harvey
DRUM Desis Rising Up and Moving
Gabriel Rockhill
Gail Walker
Gerald Horne
Gina Belafonte
Helen Yaffe
Jenice Fountain
Jennifer Ponce De Leon
Jeremy Corbyn
Jerrod MacFarlane
Jodi Dean
Jodie Evans
Judith Butler
Liz Theoharis
Manolo De Los Santos
Manu Karuka
Noam Chomsky
Nodutdol
Palestinian Youth Movement
Phillip Agnew
Robin D.G. Kelly
Roger Waters
Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz
Ruth Wilson Gilmore
Salvatore Engel-Di Mauro
Seun Kuti
Soffiyah Elijah
Vijay Prashad
Yasemin Zahra

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